DIDN'T see this coming, did you?
I promised you all a serious NarutoxFate story, did I not?
I keep my promises.
So, here we are.
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing related to Fate Stay Night or any of its content, etc, so on and so forth.
Some of you wanted a less lighthearted story of Naruto taking place in the Holy Grail War. Yet a story with some vestige of hope all the same. Naruto is still Naruto after all, even if he's a bit broken in the beginning, with time and friends, he always comes around...eventually. Forgive him for being a bit unhinged in the beginning. Why? Read on and you'll see...
Also, Last Stardust by Aimer was one HELL of a thing to listen to while writing it.
Hope you enjoy!
...it might break your heart.
And now, I proudly present...
...A new epic!
"Do not go gently into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Why am I here?
Why can't I see anything?
Why can't I feel my hands Or my feet?
I can't see anyone. I can't feel anything. I don't hear anyone either. No scent. No sense of touch. I can only think. My mind is all I have. Damnit. I've never been one for overthinking things. Shit. Shit, shit, shit. No matter how you look at it I'm screwed, aren't I? How long have I been here? I don't know. I can't remember. Minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Years? There's nothing here. Kurama? Are you there? Can you hear me? I'm here! Hello?! No. I'm alone. I must be. Even if I wasn't, I'd have no way of hearing them. Is this death?
Or am I dreaming?
No, no, no. I must have died.
If I'm not dead, then I shouldn't be here.
Its the only way any of this mess makes sense.
Hmm. That aside, I'm being awfully calm about this.
It doesn't bother me, it doesn't both-IT BOTHERS ME A LOT!
Alright, alright. Calm down, me! Try to remember what happened.
Yes, this is wrong.
This can't possibly be right.
I won the war. Our-no, my war. Against that...thing. Kaguya. I said I would destroy her and I did. I promised Sasuke. I never go back on my word. It took me years upon years, but I destroyed her. I know I did. I had to. If I didn't, I wouldn't be here. I'm sorry. There was no other way. With Sasuke gone, we had no effective method of sealing her away. Killing her wasn't enough. No. Nowhere near enough. We had to annihilate her. Down to the last atom. But we couldn't. It was only the three of us back then, in the beginning. Me. Sakura. Kakashi-sensei. Yet still we...
I remember now.
I don't want to remember!
Don't make me see their deaths!
Stop. Stop stop stop stopstopstopstop!
...I killed them.
They died for my sake.
Sacrificed themselves for me.
And for what? What good did it do them?
I wound up sacrificing myself in the end for crying out loud!
I fought that creature alone for so long, all those years and years...and finally...finally...I found a way. At the cost of my body I destroyed her and Black Zetsu. Dragged them down to Hell with me. She can't reincarnate if there's nothing left of her body or soul. HE can't sow discord if he's a pile of ash. Ah, now I understand. I must be in Hell.
What kind of hero allows his friends to die?
Damnit, if only I had a second chance.
A way to...start over, redo it all.
I'd do anything for that wish.
(...Many Centuries Later...)
A distant voice reached him suddenly, as though spoken from afar.
"Time, good. By performing the summoning at two a.m. when my mana's at its peak, I'll get Saber, even without a catalyst! For the elements silver and iron. For the foundation, stone and the Archduke of Contracts. For the ancestor, my great master, Schweinorg. Close the gates of the cardinal directions."
What was this sensation?
"Come forth from the Crown and follow the forked road leading to the kingdom. Fill, fill, fill, fill, fill. Repeat five times. But when each is filled, destroy it."
The faint series of thoughts that amounted to consciousness slowly turned, regarding this new voice. After what felt like an eternity alone in the dark it was almost humbling. To finally hear someone. Something. Anything at all. But whose voice was this? He didn't recognize it. Nay, it was something of a miracle that he understood it at all. Her? It sounded like a young girl. As if a hand had reached out to him in the dark, so too did he find the vague semblance of hope stir in his soul for the first time in eons. If he was hearing a voice, then perhaps he hadn't failed after all.
"My will creates your body and your sword creates my destiny. If you heed the Grail's call and obey my will and reason, then answer me."
"...I'm here." a like a warrior struggling through mud, a coherent thought swam to the surface of his mind. "Who are you?"
"I hereby swear...that I shall be all the good in the world. That I shall defeat all evil in the world."
Yes, now he remembered. He'd defeated evil, once. Crushed it, at great cost.
"You seven heavens, clad in these three great words of power...
Why did he need power? To protect of course, but also...
...come forth from the circle of binding...
Yes, that's right. His name was...!
...guardian of the scales!"
With that single command his world came flooding back.
"YES!" A triumphant shout ripped through ears he'd long since assumed deaf. "I did it! Wait, what are you-eek?!"
Pain ripped through his senses like a great and cleansing flood, the sudden and unexpected weight of possessing a body again nearly throwing him forward outright.
Despite his best attempts to stand on his own power he stumbled instead; flailing into the smoke, shoulder slamming headlong into an unprepared party. A slightly-startled yelp greeted him within the smoke and his body reacted in response. Years of honed instinct took hold. Seemingly of their own accord his arms surged forward, calling a staff in his right hand to steady himself while simultaneously seizing his would-be host with the left. With the immediate danger now past, the last of his senses finally reasserted themselves with a vengeance. The acrid stench of singed wood flooded his nose, accompanied by the faint sound of labored breathing below his chest. He became keenly aware of his heart, now hammering in a panic as he struggled to adjust to his new surroundings.
A shaft of moonlight lanced through the darkness, illuminating the one he'd crashed into.
He blinked, vision returning slowly, eyes adjusting from centuries in the abyss.
Then he saw.
A pair of aqua orbs gazed up at him in open disbelief, framed by dark hair the color of midnight, the latter bound in twin ponytails on either side of her visage. Indeed, that pale face held a slight pink flush to it, her mouth working wordlessly, struggling to form words as he gazed down at her. He didn't blame her. He found himself just as lost in this as she was. His memories were a-jumble again, flung to the winds by the abruptness of his arrival here...wherever here was. Just where the hell had he wound up? No, putting that aside, he was fairly certain that he shouldn't be crushing her to his chest like this...
Wordlessly, he released her.
Somehow her flush only deepened when she stepped away.
"Ah." the girl thanked him meekly, flushing as she stood and adjusted her blouse and skirt. "Yes, thank you...
...is that I'm saying to him, but this is a total disaster! I screwed up! Again!"
Despite her feigned gratitude, Rin's first thought was one of dismay.
This man was clearly not a Saber.
Judging by his black staff alone and the many rings it bore, she could only assume he must be a Caster class or some variant thereof. Of course, she could've been wrong-even hoped she was!-but something in his ragged appearance took her waves of hope and dashed them against the bitter rocks of despair. For all his torn jacket and trousers might suggest otherwise, however, those were the eyes of a warrior. Even now he was assessing her, sizing her up, looking for any sign of weakness. Worse still, he seemed completely and utterly dissatisfied with her. As though she'd not only failed to meet his standards, but failed as a human being as well.
'So its the silent treatment, huh? We'll see about that!'
"Well," she ventured stiffly, "Who are you supposed to be? Are you my servant?"
Keen blue eyes snapped toward her, burning with the light of a thousand suns. Despite herself Tohsaka flinched. But instead of speaking, the young man continued to regard her with that same eerie expression. Taking a measure of her, perhaps? Or was it something else entirely? Was that a ghost of a smile she'd seen just now, lingering on his lips? As though sensing that very thought he pushed himself against his staff and straightened, standing tall and proud. A spark of arrogance flickered in his eyes and for a heartbeat she saw all that he was. Confidence. Joy. Sorrow. So many emotions.
And in spite of that he stood before her, unbowed.
Something in that gaze of his unnerved her.
Just what kind of servant was this?!
A muscle jumped in her jaw.
"Well?! Say something! Are you a Saber or not?!"
Perhaps provoked by her demand, the being before her guffawed.
Little more than a croak of bleak laughter, it echoed between them, proud and defiant to the last. Yet somehow kind. Gentle. As though he were a mighty oak and she a mere sapling, he seemed to find her anger amusing somehow. He wasn't mocking her. His brief bout of laughed carried with it both joy and sorrow, the cry of a man who'd seen far too much and gone to his rest only to be dragged back to the world again. Rin watched him double over in disbelief, unable to contain himself, and it fanned the flames of her anger ever higher.
"Why are you lau-
In a flash he stood before her.
'When did he move?!'
Eyes the color of bloody rubes bored into hers as their foreheads touched.
"Because its funny." a rough voice issued forth from his lips, weak from years of disuse, but growing stronger with each passing moment. "I was dead, and now...look! I'm not. Thanks for getting me outta that place. I owe ya one. Later." His scarred hand patted her cheek, and for a moment Rin glimpsed a strange circular mark glowing upon his hand. It vanished when she turned her discerning gaze upon it, but she sensed it still. There was something there. She knew not what, only that it blazed against her senses like a beacon. Impossible to miss. But the way he'd just spoken to her...did he really not understand how this worked?!
Obey! Not flounce about like a frivolous fool! Just who did he think he was?! Granted, she hadn't expected complete obedience right off the bat, but a little loyalty would be nice! Not...whatever this was! Her mind refused to accept this complete and utter refusal. This...this was a joke of some sort. A joke, right? It had to be! He was just playing around. Messing with her. Yes, that was it! Instead-to Rin's infinite dismay-her Servant paid her absolutely no heed whatsoever. Indeed, he marched right past her, striding toward the exit without so much as a backward glance. She nearly used a Command Spell right then and there, consequences be damned.
Ironically, pride stayed her hand.
Flailing she lashed out, seizing his wrist.
"Wait! So you're not...
"Saber?" a touch of annoyance finally suffused his voice as he turned to face her. "Who's that? The name's Naruto...
Magus though she was, Tohsaka Rin found herself wholly and utterly unprepared for what came next.
A low growl snaked its way between them, but it didn't come from the young man's mouth.
In an instant, Naruto's cutting gaze softened into something akin to sheepish dismay.
...say, you wouldn't happen to have any ramen would you?"
To her credit, Rin managed an eloquent:
And Rin's got an unruly servant.
I've really gone and done it now, haven't I?!
Thought it was best to end it on that note, given the chapter.
Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war! And there we have it! The idea of having Naruto summoned by Rin had never occurred to me before, if only because I didn't want to replace the pure and unadulterated BADASS that is Archer. So I didn't. That's right, Archer's still kicking around in this universe. As is Medea, in a sense. Now, now, I'm sure you're all wondering, how? How did you keep them around, Neon? Well, that's a good question. Unfortunately, I'm not going to answer it.
So let's clarify here, folks. We've got a post-war Naruto with incredible power who did NOT lose his arm and still retains most of his abilities. Yes, most. I say "most" because, well...you'll see. He's not invincible or all powerful and he certainly isn't omnipotent. What class was he summoned as? Well, that should be obvious as well, if not outright stated in the chapter!
Expect chaos and incredible battles to ensue!
So in the Immortal Words of Atlas...
...Review, Would You Kindly?
And enjoy the preview!
They're rough atm, so don't think too much of them~!
"Ha! What a stupid Caster!"
It was a long and deep shuddering sigh that wracked his entire body from head to toe; such that Rin found herself physically shrinking backward. When next her comrade raised his gaze, there was no trace of the mercy he had shown Ilya mere moments before. What were those eyes? Why were they red? They didn't look human; rather, the cross-shaped pupils resembled that of a beast
An angry, savage creature, who, until moments ago, had done his best to restrain himself.
...I'm a little angry at the moment, Rin. Stand back."
"Wait, what are you going to-
Slitted eyes narrowed.
"Berserker, was it?" the blond's voice emerged as a low snarl. "Your master said you were invincible, right? That you can't die, right? Good...
Raising a hand, he began channeling chakra to his palm.
Slowly, inexorably, a keening shriek arose.
...you'll be my punching bag!"
"What kind of monster of a man are you?!"
As Shinji looked on in terror, Caster's shadow became something hideous.
"Oh, trust me, I'm more monster than man...
"Humans are ugly creatures. Mongrels. They scream and they steal and they hate. What good are such beings in the end?"
"Even so...I envy them, in their fleeting beauty."
"Ho? And what could YOU possibly envy?"
"Ha! So foolish!"
Archer arched an eyebrow.
"You've got it rough with that one."
Naruto's sole response was to palm his face.
"Ohhhhh, you have absolutely no bloody idea...
"You're just a mongrel! What can you possibly do?!"
"MORE THAN YOU!"